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AGRIBUSINESS: Farm Bill Conference Should Continue

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Even if the U-S House or Representatives can’t reach an agreement on reauthorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP before leaving for the August recess, House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas says the farm bill conference should proceed.

House members left Washington Thursday without any apparent plans to take up a nutrition bill in the final days before the recess. Lucas has stated his personal goal is to move forward on conferencing with the Senate if it’s clear consensus on nutrition can’t be achieved.

The nutrition working group established by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor did meet Wednesday - and adjourned without conclusions.

Lucas has come under fire for adding into the House bill a repeal of the unworkable permanent law that looms over farm policy and necessitates a new farm bill every five years. The House bill would put the commodity title of the 2013 bill in its place, which Lucas claims will create a real safety net, and address his fear that permanent law will one day be simply repealed, leaving the ag industry without leverage.